Do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

Deuteronomy 5:32


In the scriptural accounts, there are many examples of men and women being tested, and I think it is plain that the Holy Spirit rarely tells a believer that he is about to be tested.

Abraham was being tested when the Lord asked him to take his only son up into the mountain. He thought he was being ordered. He did not know he was being tested.

Peter was unconsciously tested. Paul was tested and tried. There does come a time when we have heard enough truth and the Holy Spirit says, “Today this disciple is going to be tested.”

The people of Israel in their time of testing came to Kadesh Barnea, and instead of crossing into the promised land, they said, “We will not go over!” God simply let them make their own test, and they flunked it!

Are there any among us who have an honest desire to be Christlike? We should all be aware that every day is a day of testing. Some come to their own Kadesh Barnea and turn back.

What a solemn thought: Many of the persons whom God is testing will flunk the test!


Lord, tutor me by Your Spirit and help me successfully “pass” Your times of testing. I can’t do it by myself.[1]

32–33 The narrative, i.e., the recollection by Moses of this stupendous historical event, ends with 5:31, and Moses’ exhortation begins with 5:32. Moses makes it clear that he is not talking about the words or commandments of Moses but the words of Almighty God. God’s covenantal people are not to “turn aside to the right or to the left” (a common expression in Deuteronomy and other historical books—Dt 17:11, 20; 28:14; Jos 1:7; 23:6; 2 Ki 22:2) from those divine expectations. Instead, the Israelites are to live (“walk”; see comment on 10:12–13) in accordance with those requirements and, consequently, enjoy long tenure in the Promised Land.[2]

5:32–33 not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. God’s way is likened to a straight path. See also 2:27; 17:11, 20; 28:14. walk in all the way. See also 8:6; 9:16; 10:12; 11:22; 19:9; 26:17; 28:9; 30:16; 31:29.[3]

5:22 and he added no more. Lit. “and He did not add,” perhaps an idiom meaning that He spoke no more. This would fit the statement in Exodus that the people in their fear asked that God speak no more to them directly but to address them only through Moses (Ex. 20:19).

two tablets of stone. The tablets are mentioned in Ex. 31:18, where they are called the “two tablets of the testimony … written with the finger of God.” In addition, the tablets were inscribed on both sides (Ex. 32:15). These tablets were broken (Ex. 32:19), but new ones were made (Ex. 34:1–4, 27). Called “the testimony,” the tablets were placed in the ark of the testimony (Ex. 25:16; 40:20), also called the “ark of the covenant” (Num. 10:33). The “testimony” refers to the written record attesting the terms of the covenant (Ex. 25:16 note).[4]

[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Grisanti, M. A. (2012). Deuteronomy. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Numbers–Ruth (Revised Edition) (Vol. 2, p. 552). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 341). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2015). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (2015 Edition) (p. 262). Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust.


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